the original title of the song is "old man river" or "ol' man river". It was featured on the musical "showboat" that Robeson sung at the beginning of his carreer (but he kept on singing this song up to the end of his carreer). Interesting point is that when he sings it he changes the original lyrics. By example the original says " I will keep laughing until my dying" and the Robeson ones say "I must keep fighting until I'm dying".
As far as I know the version featured here is from a concert he made at the border with Canada (he was not allowed to leave the country anymore, due to maccarthism). It was published in France at the "Chant du Monde" company (that was the official disc release of the French Communist Party).
tnaks for this amazing website!!!!
renaud from Belgium